Tropical Storm Eta raced off the Southeast Atlantic seacoast late Thursday, spreading heavy rains and gusty winds around the Carolinas only hours after blustering across north Florida. One death in Florida was linked to the storm, along with some scattered flooding and forecasters said the tropical storm was on a path offshore of South Carolina that would eventually take it further out to sea. The storm system triggered flash flooding, multiple water rescues and road closures, and at least one collapsed bridge in South Carolina, said Sandy LaCourte, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greenville, SC. "It’s unfortunately been a tough day for the Carolinas today," LaCourte said, per the AP. The storm killed at least four people in North Carolina, including three at a campsite, CBS reports.
Earlier Thursday, Eta was in the Gulf of Mexico when it slogged ashore near Cedar Key, Florida. It then moved northeast across Florida in a matter of hours before crossing over into the Atlantic, forecasters said. Although it was not the most powerful storm to hit the US this year, Eta had broad impacts across the Tampa Bay region on Florida's Gulf Coast, buffeting an area of more than 3.5 million people with gusty winds and rain. In Bradenton Beach, Florida, Mark Mixon stepped into his flooded garage as he was laying sandbags around his home Wednesday evening and was electrocuted, said Jacob Saur, director of public safety for Manatee County. There were appliances plugged into the garage and Mixon was killed when he stepped into the water, Saur said.
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